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Ex-Flagler Beach City Manager Applies for Unemployment, Though He Resigned (Twice)

| February 8, 2016

bruce campbell city manager

Bruce Campbell when he was applying for the city manager’s job in 2010. (© FlaglerLive)

There was a surprise last month in Flagler Beach city government’s in-box: a notice that Bruce Campbell, the former city manager, had applied for unemployment compensation.

Campbell, however, had voluntarily resigned his job last year, which would make him ineligible for unemployment. Otherwise, the city would be required to pay a portion of his unemployment claim, which would likely amount to $275 a week for up to 26 weeks. Campbell was earning about $1,730 a week when he was city manager.

Campbell confirmed Monday that he’d filed for unemployment. “I did through job source,” he said, referring to Career Source, the publicly funded agency that helps job seekers. “I went to job source and they said that I could apply for unemployment.” Asked if he’d mentioned to he’d resigned rather than been laid off, he said the process “didn’t get into that.”

In Campbell’s interpretation, “my contract was not renewed.” That’s accurate, though Campbell himself had asked the commission–at least twice, publicly–not to renew his contract. He did so the first time in October 2014, when he wrote commissioners: “I have decided not to request that we negotiate a renewed contract as your city manager.” He offered to stay on until the commission had a replacement. But when the commission dragged its feet, he put it on notice again last July that he intended to be gone after the budget process, by the end of September.

Commissioner Marshall Shupe tried to keep him on by offering a new contract. Campbell would have none of it, saying ” this is all to me maybe a little bit too little too late.”

The commission got busy finding a replacement and did so in a relatively short time, compared to its previous attempt five years ago, which took a year. Larry Newsom was hired in mid-November and began work with the new year.

City Clerk Penny Overstreet informed some of the city commissioners about the unemployment claim late last month. “When I was told he’d filed it just caught me off guard, I couldn’t understand why or where he was coming from,” said Marshall Shupe, who chairs the commission–and had twice tried to keep Campbell on. Shupe said Campbell had made clear that it was his intention, not the city’s, to leave the job despite the city’s various entreaties, making him ineligible for unemployment. “I would think under the circumstances the city would not be agreeable to that but I don’t know hat the legal ramifications are.” Shupe cited the 2014 letter from Campbell that made Campbell’s position explicit. “I wouldn’t think somebody that leaves a job on their own free will would be in the same situations as someone that was terminated.”

Commissioner Jane Mealy concurred. “Initial reaction he quit, that’s the end, I don’t believe people who quit should get unemployment insurance. But I don’t know the details,” Mealy said.

Campbell acknowledged that he is “probably not” eligible for unemployment.

The city administration doesn’t think he is. “I would say he’s not, but I don’t know how they’re interpreting it,” Liz Mathis, who heads the city’s human resources department, said of the state’s unemployment office. “As of right now I gave them the information about him not renewing his contract and giving them a deadline” (that is, giving the city commission a deadline to end his employment.) Mathis said unemployment claims at the city are rare.

Campbell, who lives in Flagler Beach, says he’s been “searching for opportunities,” but nothing specific has turned up yet. “I’m going to look for something at some point.”

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13 Responses for “Ex-Flagler Beach City Manager Applies for Unemployment, Though He Resigned (Twice)”

  1. Freddy says:

    He applies and it will be denied so what’s the big deal? This is done by unemployed people all the time and former employers have to respond that he had quit.

  2. confidential says:

    Why do some educated individuals do such a things..?

  3. Layla says:

    This borders on criminal. As a former manager, he should know that. Freddy, this was a public official who is responsible for knowing these laws and making sure things like this do not happen.

    This was not a mistake, it was a Con.

  4. r&r says:

    Like most politician MILK the system cheat to get what need.

  5. Mark says:

    Who cares? Now about those Hillary emails…..

  6. James says:

    Maybe it’s a tumor? Or something in the water. Because as Trump would say. I’ll tell you this, He is a stupid man, a very stupid man for doing that.

  7. Woody says:

    He should run for office.That’s pretty shady,he would make a good politician.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Bet he’s a stalwart Republican who complains about OTHER PEOPLE “on the dole” taking advantage of the system.

  9. Oldseadog says:

    Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
    ~C. S. Lewis

    (I guess he thinks no one is watching)

  10. Just me says:

    Beach City Manager Applies for Unemployment, Though He Resigned (Twice)”

    Freddy says:

    February 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    He applies and it will be denied so what’s the big deal? This is done by unemployed people all the time and former employers have to respond that he had quit.

    well NO not necessarily. One employee of my wifes company she sold was let go within the first week of the new people taking over. It was found out in the weeks before the take over this employee was charging for time while not working at all. This employee was working off the books for another also at the same time saying they where at work for my wife. We where getting multiple complaints on their work and neede to send other over to make it right. All this was documented and sent to unemployment at the time they where let go. Unemployment DID pay them for two mts before we where told of it. When asked about the paperwork that was sent in on why they said it has NOT been looked at yet? They will look at it and if judged they did not deserve to get it they will ask for it back. All I can say on the proses is WTF???

  11. Seems only Right says:

    What the hell, if 630,000 Islamic muslims in America can get welfare, an out-of-work City manager can get un-employment. And hurry up and file for Social Security you geezers cause the “pot is empty” and there’s only enough left for illegal aliens with fake SS cards.

  12. Sherry says:

    I’m very disappointed in Bruce Campbell that he would do such a completely unethical thing. . . requiring a complete waste of time by public employees to deny his request.

    I guess this a reflection of where our society has fallen to. . . when it comes to ethics and integrity and honor. It’s very disheartening when our community leaders set such a very poor example!

  13. Steven Wood says:

    Sherry this is not a reflextion of where our society is at. This DOES HOWEVER show how unethical Campbell was WHILE HE was in his job as city manager. I could actually write a book on the things done wrong to the city by Campbell but will leave it as this proves how he was and is. I am not a disgruntled employee l am a happy retiree from the city of which l care deeply about.

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